BY ALEX MIKULICH | March 13, 2017
Today’s Readings

In the context of the U.S. empire, I find today’s Gospel frightening because it raises the hard question of whether or not we stand with Jesus.  

The fact that he is authentic, that he does reveal the divine through his healing and care for the despised in society, is the very reason the Pharisees and Sadducees question his identity and thereby reveal their rejection of him and intent to destroy him. The Pharisees and Sadducees are out for themselves and heap oppression on all others.  

Our context of a U.S. empire is not so different. If we follow the Way of Jesus, we too will find rejection, humiliation, and may anticipate—even expect—the same fate as the poor and despised.  

At this very moment people who claim to be Christian are heaping hatred and violence upon the poor, homeless, sick, elderly, people of color, refugees, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender, and Muslim and Jewish brothers and sisters. All are targeted for their very identity. Jesus stands with them. With whom and where do we stand?  

Reflection questions:

  • How far will we walk with Jesus and the despised of society on the Way of the Cross?  
  • Are we willing to give our lives for Jesus?
Alex Mikulich

Alex Mikulich is an anti-racist Catholic social ethicist and activist.

3 replies
  1. Susan says:

    Thank you for this reflection point. I am part of that despised group as a lesbian and would add that the “war on women” is just as real as the governmental attacks being made on all kinds of “others” in our American society. The abortion issue has so captivated people that they fail to see that reproductive health is more than pregnancy and cutting programs and funding to Planned Parenthood targets many more important healthcare services for poor and moderate income women. Where do I stand and how far will I go with Jesus? My intersection of identity as a lesbian Christian says, “All the way to the cross, even if my voice shakes and my knees knock.”

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  2. Anthony says:

    It’s the first time I have ever seen the words ‘U.S.’ and ’empire’ put together as you have. The U.S. is not an ’empire’ in the sense we ordinarily use the word. For example, if you were to write ‘British empire’ I would understand what you meant. So by writing it you seem to be criticizing the U.S. in an unfair and distorted manner. Words matter, and the way in which you use them is a reflection on the type of person that you are in your heart. I am 74 years old, have known many Christians in my life, and have never met one who heaps hatred and violence on anyone, let alone on a group. In fact my feeling is that anyone who even uses or writes the word ‘hate’ needs to question if they carry it in their own hearts.

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